The Rocket Flame

14 Things To Get Your Mom For Mother’s Day


All throughout your life, your mother has been there to clean your dirty dishes, put away your laundry, and cook up meals for your rumbling stomach. From your perspective, these tasks may just look small and like they do not take a lot of time, but little do you know, these tasks are just small pieces of a bigger puzzle. In reality, mothers do many things for the well being of their children and on a Sunday in every May, we celebrate and appreciate their time and effort. This year, Mother’s Day falls on May 11.


Most of the time, acts of appreciation that mothers desire are small, but they want to know that their children truly love and appreciate the things they do for them.


“On Mother’s Day, honestly, I just want to be with the kids and spend the day enjoying them, not having to worry about cooking or any of that,” said Mrs. Stacey Deiseroth (Faculty).


If you are stuck on what to get your mom for Mother’s Day, here are 14 simple gifts to show how much you love her.


At the end of the day, all moms just simply want to be appreciated and loved for all the things they do for their families even if it is just for one day. Getting your mother any of these gifts will certainly be the height of her Mother’s Day.

Class of 2023, This is For You


The school board at Tuscarora School District has implemented two new graduation requirements into the curriculum for the incoming freshmen of next year, for the Class of 2023. The two classes are titled Personal Finance and State & Local Government/Community History. The teachers in the departments of these classes have shown excitement about including these new required courses. They are anxious to see growth in the students taking the classes since they believe they will see a positive impact from them.


The State & Local Government/Community History class being introduced will become part of the required curriculum for the Social Studies department. One advocate for this new class is Mrs. Megan Swailes (Faculty) who is a ninth grade American History teacher. She feels that students should be more aware of the government and history around them that they may not even see and believes that this course will be beneficial towards that.


“It’s just to educate the kids on how the local setting is set up and hopefully kind of push them to where they could get involved,” said Swailes.  “Then the history part of it is just acknowledging that you live in a pretty historically-rich area.”


The department feels that this class will play a more vital role in the students’ academic career rather than federal government, which most students rarely get involved in throughout their lives. The teachers feel it will motivate the students to get involved in the community that is around them which they have easier access to.


“You take federal government but there is not a lot of time for the state and local and that level of government is what people tend to get more involved with,” said Swailes. “That’s the government that we feel we really need to emphasize for kids.”


The Personal Finance course has been offered as an option for previous classes but is now being introduced as a requirement for the Class of 2023. This course teaches financial skills such as paying taxes, cashing checks, and preparing for retirement that are very important for adulthood. The department teaching this course hopes students take something positive away from it.


“I hope that they learn something that maybe their parents didn’t teach them and that they can use it in life to further their finances and their savings,” said Mrs. Linda Rife (Faculty).


With these skills being so essential for adulthood, it is hard to see why a student would not want to take this course to prepare for their life after graduation. Different faculty members at James Buchanan are supporters of the Personal Finance course and feel that it would be helpful to the students.


“One of the things people struggle with the most is money, so teaching people how to be prepared financially for after high school I think is just very vital,” said Mrs. Lynn Troutman (Faculty).


The rationale behind adding these courses is very simple: both are proven to be very vital for after high school and will give you skills and knowledge that you may not often get the opportunity to learn. The staff hopes to see great things come from the students after taking these graduation requirements.  

A Day in the Life of the Cafeteria Staff


Right after the lunch bell rings, students pour into the cafeteria with stomachs rumbling, eager to get their first bite since breakfast. Long lines of students that wrap around the room start to grow shorter and shorter as their needs for a delicious meal are satisfied by the hard work and careful preparation of the cafeteria staff. Throughout the day, they are constantly on the move to make sure that each student and teacher is able to get a meal that will make them hungry for more.

A long line forms around the cafeteria, awaiting their second meal of the day.

6:00 AM


The first to arrive every morning, Mrs. Rhonda Lyons (Faculty) comes to the school to set up everything necessary for that day. She uses about ninety minutes of her early morning time to prepare all the food for the breakfast bar that is served in the auditorium lobby as students arrive to school. Lyons also makes sure that all workstations are clean and ready for the rest of the cafeteria team.


“Myself, I do the odds and ends, the early stuff in the beginning,” said Lyons describing her morning duties. “Getting stuff ready for the girls before they come in because I’m in there the earliest.”


8:00 AM


After other staff members have started arriving to work, students begin coming off their buses and into the school, hungry for the many options offered at the breakfast bar. The staff as a whole enjoys seeing their hard work pay off in the positive reactions of the students.

Diane Crowe (Faculty) rings up Jaden Pabon (9) at the cash register.

“Probably the satisfaction when the kids compliment and kids are happy with the food we’re making,” said Lyons referring to the most rewarding parts of her job. “And they seem to enjoy the meal and look forward to certain things that we make.”


8:45-11:00 AM


When the breakfast bar is put away and the lobby is cleared, the real work begins in the kitchen. Chopping up fruit and putting toppings on pizzas, the cafeteria workers continue to get busier and busier as the minutes fly by. It takes a team effort to make sure the lunch lines have enough hot items, sides, and many other meal options to successfully feed the hungry students of James Buchanan High School. These two hours and fifteen minutes are definitely the busiest times of the day for these diligent workers.

Staci McCulloh (Faculty) chops up oranges into slices in preparation for the lunch periods.

“A typical day at work is usually pretty busy and just different things coming at you from all directions,” said Director Adam Carlson (Faculty).


11:30 AM-1:30 PM


The bell for the first lunch period rings over the school and students rush into the cafeteria with their mouths watering, waiting for a good hot meal. Two staff members take their positions at the cash registers while two more take their positions in the lines, preparing to serve the hungry students. This is the point in the day where the activity in the kitchen slowly dies down. The hard work of preparation has been completed and now all that needs to be done is the serving of meals. The staff hopes that all students are satisfied with their meals and feel confident in their ability to prepare them.

Judy Woodward (Faculty) stays very busy as she serves up deli bar to the hungry students.

“I’m hoping it just makes a positive impact in the students’ day,” said Carlson. “No matter how bad their day is going, they can rely on having a good hot meal from us.”


1:45-2:30 PM


When the final bell has rung and the cafeteria has emptied itself, the staff works as a team to prepare everything for the next day. Working together, they accomplish tasks such as washing lunch trays, putting everything back in the refrigerator, cleaning up the scraps from the lunch lines, sweeping the kitchen floors and much more. The cafeteria staff members leave at 2:30 PM feeling confident and proud that they have filled hungry stomachs and satisfied cravings. They hope to be constantly learning and trying new things as chefs and workers.

The kitchen after it has been diligently cleaned up by the staff.

“Just being able to be creative in the kitchen, creative with the menu and getting the staff on board with doing new things,” said Carlson. “And increasing everybody’s ability to cook.”


Overall, the day consists of constant business, being up and moving, focusing on their goals, and trying to accomplish everything that they have set out to do for that day.

Coding vs. Programming: What’s The Difference?


Showing him something on the computer, Mr. Brooks (Faculty) teaches Ty Robinson (10) a new concept.

The two computer terms, coding and programming, are words that we often use interchangeably without giving it much thought. Yes, they are correlated with each other but we rarely dive in deep to what each individual word truly means. Simple tasks such as setting your alarm clock, changing the radio station, or pressing the buttons on a microwave could lead to something even bigger in the immense world of technology. Writing code is only the start of creating software, and programming is where the process becomes extremely complex.


    The action of writing code is simply telling the computer what to do and how to function. Programming is putting all that information together and putting it to use.


    “Coding would be writing individual lines of information on a computer,” said Mr. Bill Brooks (Faculty), “and when it’s all compiled together, it creates one large program.”


   Although they sound similar, the jobs of coders and programmers are two vastly different things. The job of a coder is at a much more intermediate level than that of a programmer. It involves writing singular lines of code, while translating the computer language to the language you and I speak.


    “When you are coding, you are truly writing the code that maybe the everyday person wouldn’t understand,” said Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty).


As for the job of the programmer, it requires a more advanced skillset. A programmer makes sure a machine or application runs efficiently without any mistakes. Making sure there are no errors is crucial to the machine correctly running as one large program. Making an error can ruin all of the computer coding that has already been done. The coding has to already be complete so that the programmer’s job can begin.


    “Before the programming can be done, somebody had to code it kind of in the background,” said Martin.

Working hard, Joshua Frey (10) sets up a code for his program.

    At James Buchanan High School, there is a computer science class offered that is taught by Brooks. During class, his students learn about the basic outline of coding and put it into practice. Brooks then teaches his students about compiling the codes together to make one large program. This program, if done correctly, would allow a machine to work effectively.


    “We write a lot of codes to make the program run correctly,” said Brooks talking about what activities happen daily, in his computer science class.


    Striving for greatness, the teachers in the technology education department hope to see a dramatic advance in the computer knowledge of students. As time passes, they feel that the coding and programming that is usually done behind the scenes, will start to be done by the consumers themselves.


    “Just like, years ago, we used to hire people to do typing. Now everybody does their own typing,” said Brooks, “Presently, we hire people to code, but in the future, people are going to start writing their own codes to make programs do what they want for their unique application.”


    If you have ever heard of the two terms, the line between coding and programming has always been blurred by assumption that they mean the same thing. The teachers of the technology education department, Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Martin, have been trying to teach their students the vast difference so that they may be able to do it on their own someday. They hope for the computer-based knowledge in the teenagers they teach to expand greatly as they learn more and more concepts.

Santa Tell Me, Are You Really There?


Preparing for an eventful holiday, Cameron Fleming (10), Hailey Embree (10), and Jordan Small (10) admire Mrs. Stum’s (Faculty) decorated door.

As children, we all got excited for the time of the year when Santa Claus came to town. We wrote letters telling him what presents we wanted and we set out homemade cookies along with fresh milk to energize him for his long journey ahead. On Christmas morning, we ran to the tree to see what toys awaited us and dreaded getting any clothes or shoes. Now, as we mature into teenagers, we see the old Santa Claus story to be childish, silly, and we find ourselves wanting the things we used to hate receiving as kids.

The community at James Buchanan has been seeing changes in their attitudes during the holiday season. Growing up and becoming an individual has made them alter what gifts they would like to receive on Christmas morning.

“Childhood [gifts] were more like games, toys,” said Rylynn Welsh (9).  “Now it’s just more like clothing.”

Waking up on Christmas morning at a younger age was one of the most exciting parts of the holidays for some students. Adrenaline and excitement flowed through them as they raced to their parents’ bedroom to tell them that Santa had come last night.

“When I was a kid, I was always up at 5:30 in the morning and wanting to open presents right away,” said Welsh.

While we reminisce in the good times we witnessed when we were little, we may notice Christmas becoming a less wholesome time. This may be due to us being more invested in ourselves and paying less attention to those around us.

“It’s [Christmas] not like, ‘Oh my gosh, Santa came last night,’” said Hunter Smith (10). “It’s more like, ‘I got presents and these are for me.’”

As teenagers undergo transitions into adulthood, it may seem like old morals established as children have diminished. But other students at James Buchanan feel that the values they hold during Christmas have not changed at all throughout their life.

“It’s not all about presents, it’s about being with your family,” said Smith, “so I don’t really find it [Christmas] more or less exciting than before.”

Although the holiday season may be slightly different from previous years, we can still enable it to be a special time to come together with your family and exchange gifts out of gratitude. We can still remember the good times from past Christmases and help us to have better Christmases in the near future.

“Waking up and seeing all the cookies eaten and a half-drank glass of milk,” said Smith referring to his childhood during Christmas.

As a school community, we may notice things in our lives changing slightly as the years go by, especially during this time of year. Students think that we are able to use these changes to our advantage and make every Christmas as cheerful as we can.

Cans Donated, Toys Collected


Encouraging fellow classmates, Claire Kriner (11) and Timothy Helman (9) get excited for the holiday season.

The holidays are thought to be a time with big family dinners, buying and receiving gifts, and getting a little extra money added to your paycheck. The streets are filled with string lights and cheer all throughout the final months of the year. This might be your view of this season, but less fortunate families may not see it the exact same way. They might see it as the more stressful time of year and may find it difficult to make ends meet. Have you ever thought about how you could bring holiday joy to these families’ lives?

The James Buchanan student body has been outwardly striving to help families in need during this Christmas season. These attempts have included food drives with canned goods and toy collections. Certain students feel that, by doing these things, it not only helps other people, but it can also join everyone together as a school.

“When we help each other out, it just connects our school more closely together…” said Claire Kriner (11).

Student Council began the canned food and toy collection on Nov. 28 and is continuing it throughout the month of December. Boxes wrapped in festive wrapping paper were placed inside of classrooms to collect these items.

A donation box is placed inside of Miss May’s (Faculty) homeroom in preparation of the food and toy drive.

“We get donations from businesses sometimes, but we want to encourage lots of your classmates to donate food so we can have enough food for people,” said Meredith Iverson (10), “because it benefits people in this school district.”

In order to motivate students to donate items, Student Council has come up with an idea that allows homerooms to compete for points. Getting points depends on how many and what kinds of objects each homeroom provides for less fortunate families. The homeroom that receives the most points wins the competition.

Outside of the art room, Lizzie Pittman (12) contributes items to her homeroom’s donation box.

“It’s a way that our school can give items to families in need that might not have everything.” said Kriner.

Members of the student body feel it is a moral obligation for them to make Christmas a happier time for other people who may struggle during the holidays. They also want to encourage others to realize that Christmas is not just about receiving gifts.

“I just want to get a stronger sense of positivity because I know that not many people in our school think about this stuff,” said Bella Shupp (10), “They don’t think about people that are struggling, so I think this will really help everyone in the school see that Christmas is about more than just getting stuff for yourself.”

During the holiday season this year, James Buchanan has been making efforts to focus less on themselves and more so on families that may struggle in providing necessary items or affording gifts for their children. Students believe that they can make a positive change in the community if they work together as a school.

Tackling Their Way To Victory


Logan Spoonhour (12) plays the defensive line for the Rocket football team.

You are in the student section at a James Buchanan High School home football game. You look away from the intense game for a second and notice the masses of people around you start to frantically cheer, punch the air, and hold up their signs. Looking down at the end zone, you realize that one of our players has just scored the winning touchdown. The James Buchanan football team has been making progressive changes this season.  

Owen Stoner (12) tackles an opponent from Fairfield Area High School.

“We’ve really been trying to emphasize the competition piece, getting kids really excited and simulating game-type situations,” said Coach Miller.

In practices, intensity and drive have been stressed to the players. The coaches are looking for more aggression in the team and want the football program to be progressively moving further by continuing to take home the victories.  

“If we bring the same type of effort and intensity that we brought to that goal line stand, I think that that we are capable of winning or being in every game here on out, ” said Coach Miller.

These enforcements in practices have ensured the improvement of the players. This has been exemplified in Sebastian Wise (11), getting his 1000 yards passing and Cormac Houpt (12) achieving his 1000 yards rushing and setting the school record for rushing.

“Just overall, each coach works individually with each person and it’s just helping the team tremendously,” said Wise.

Although succeeding as individuals is important, benefiting as a team can be more vital.

“The team went first, so I was more worried about getting wins than my goal,” said Houpt.

Cormac Houpt (12) and Sebastian Wise (11) celebrating their win against Nativity BVM High School.

Overall, the main goal of the players and coaches is for the team to do their best and give as much effort as possible. While doing these things, they also plan to win more and more games.

“… To come out and play as hard as we possibly can…and just come out and give 100% effort and execute the way we know how to, ” said Coach Miller about how he plans to accomplish this.

On Friday, Oct. 26, the Rocket football team played their last home game against Brunswick High School. The Rockets were defeated by the Railroaders with a score of 41-17.

Prior to the game, the senior members of Band, Color Guard, Cross Country, Cheerleading and Football were escorted across the track by their relatives for Senior Night.

The Rocket Football team made strides this season under direction of new head coach, and they hope to continue this growth next year.

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Eva Dempsey